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MOHS Surgery

stacyl's picture
stacyl
Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2006

I have had a lesion on my nose for about 4 years now. I was in total denial that it was serious because I did not have health insurance and I choose to ignore things anyway. I recently got health insurance and had a biopsy and it is indeed a Basal Cell Carcinoma. I am scheduled for MOHS surgery in the beginning of Ocotber and hae done some research and have seen some horrible pictures. I am scared to death and would love to hear from people who have had the same procedure. Part of me is ready to just back out because of fear. My dermatologist said we did not catch it early so I am preparing for the worse but praying for the best. I also find that I panic now with every ache and pain I have like I might have cancer other places and I am normally not like this. Is this a normal reaction? Thank you for reading this and I hope to hear from you all soon.

Sandis
Posts: 85
Joined: Mar 2003

Hi! I was diagnosed with breast cancer 3 years ago and found a lot of support on the breast cancer site. I was diagnosed with basil cell carcinoma about a month ago and you're the first person who has written since then. I have my MOHs surgery next week (Aug 23). I'm pretty anxious. I also have other lesions I haven't addressed and have an appointment for a full body scan the week after the MOHS. So, I'm both anxious about the surgery, the effect of the surgery and whether I have more skin cancer. I've read a lot about basil cell carcinoma and it doesn't seem to spread throughout the body. Squamous cell carcinoma is more likely to spread, so I'm not worried about dying from this cancer, just don't want to go through the procedure. My cancer is on the left side of my nose where my glasses rest. I'll let you know how it goes. Sandi

stacyl's picture
stacyl
Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2006

Hi! It was nice to hear from someone. I also am aware that I will not die from basal cell carcinoma, but like you are pretty scared about the procedure. When my doctor first told me about it, he made it seem like no problem. I looked up the surgery and saw some pretty scary pictures and asked my doctor in depth questions that I would not have asked if I did not learn more about the procedure. My basal cell is on the right side of my nose and is a pretty decent size. He confirmed my fears when he told me that I will definitely require some kind of reconstructive surgery but the extent will be unknown until they start the procedure. I have seen some great recovery pictures but the anticipation of this surgery is the worst. The MOHS surgeon he is sending me to has a really good reputation but does not have any appointments until October 9th. That seems so faw away. I think I would worry less if I knew it was going to happen sooner. I also have a few other spots they are going to biopsy and a lot of sun damage on my shoulders and back. I live near the shore in New Jersey and grew up going to the beach and sun worshipping. For over two years, I have been going to tanning beds on and off and worry about that exposure because the Dermatologist said that could have definitely made it worse. Please keep me posted about your surgery and my prayers are with you. As for the breast cancer, I hope you are doing ok and that your battle is over. You truly are a survivor.

Sandis
Posts: 85
Joined: Mar 2003

It was nice to hear back from you. I agree that the waiting is the worst and I also looked at pictures on the web that frightened me. I keep wondering if they start in one spot and then move to other spots what I'll look like. I'm glad I don't have to wait so long. I'll definately let you know how it goes. My Mohs surgeon does most of the reconstruction during the same time. I haven't even met with him, but I went to a physicians assistant in his office for the biopsy. So, I haven't asked him anything, but I've read a lot. When I had breast cancer I found out the stage, etc., but I don't know anything about the pathology report. I'm not sure if that's common or if most people find all these things out. It helped me with breast cancer to know as much as I could to see how the treatment my oncologist was suggesting compared to what the research indicated I should have. Sandi

epgnyc
Posts: 138
Joined: Apr 2003

Hi, Stacy. I totally understand your fears about your upcoming MOHS surgery and wishing it was sooner. The waiting is always the hardest part of this stuff. I had breast cancer in 2002 (2 surgeries, chemo and radiation) and I thought I would lose my mind what with all the waiting. Then last November, I had 2 separate MOHS surgeries for some basal cell cancers. Mine were on the back of my upper arm and the top of my shoulder. It seems that facial lesions are the most common basal cell cancers. I was lucky in that I had only two scrapings on one and just one on the other. Because your surgeon has told you yours was not caught as early, you will probably require additional layers. I found the surgery to be really easy (no pain), although it did take awhile. For me the hardest part was not ripping open the stitches in my arm afterwards. Basically they told me not to use my arm for 2 weeks and that was hard. But at least I didn't have to cope with how it would look cosmetically -- I mean who cares about their upper arm? It's much tougher with the face. But your surgeon has already mentioned reconstructive surgery, so he's on top of this. One of my closest friends had MOHS surgery on her nose a couple of years ago. Hers was deep and required skin grafting and reconstruction, but it looks great now. To make yourself feel more comfortable, perhaps you could arrange to speak to the doctor who will be doing the reconstruction. I know that would help me a lot.

Try not to worry too much, although I know you will. Distract yourself with some special treats and fun acivities. You deserve it! Good luck.

tracey39
Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2006

Hi i hope your surgery went well. I have just had surgery for a suspected basal cell on my nose also, I would of chosen mohs but ended up with excision (since reading your post, mohs sounds quite drawn out and difficult!), I am awaiting the results a disadvantage to not having mohs!. I feel like a freak, people at first sugested I was overreacting and they couldnt see a mark, as it did not heal I went to the docs, who told me I was far to young for any thing worring I ended up in a private clinic having a dermo scan. I have battled to get treatment early and it was not untill the area began to grow and itch did any one listen. now I have a 3/4 inch scar on my nose and drag on my eye lid .People try to help they say it hardly notices, when I reply 'well I know take it off my face and put it on yours ...' they thing again . I know this is a little harch and they are just trying to help but I am quite angry, I dont even like the sun I would wear a hat/glasses etc most of the time..... dont mean to go on hope things are looking a bit brighter for you and you are moving on in the best possible way. it has helped me just to type this knowing that i am talking to someone who has been through the same/similar surgery, well some one who knows what its like to feel threatened by this disease.

aikanae
Posts: 5
Joined: Jul 2003

I'm glad you got it taken care of. At 34 I don't think much could have convinced me to worry. I don't know if your still here, but I can really relate to people blowing off how serious SCC can be, or it's 'sun related' affecting only older people.

Despite the pictures, MOH's is considered to be tissue-sparing and the least scarring when it's healed.

I hope it went well.

lauradee767's picture
lauradee767
Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2007

i was diagnosed almost a year ago. i am waiting for the surgery. it doesnt scare me. i have had worse. the thing that does worry me is that i do have spots in other places and the skin cancer has been there for 4 years now and who knows when they will get to me. nobody gives me answers. if i dont have the surgery then what? i am getting so tired of waiting.

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